Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan threatened Gülen movement sympathizers, who he accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, with a revocation of their citizenship and said he hopes those countries who shelter and host them will be troubled by their presence.

Speaking during a meeting with civil society representatives in Konya on Friday, Erdoğan said: “Regardless of how far as they run, we will continue to chase them [Gülen sympathizers]. I hope their hosts [abroad] will be troubled by their presence … those who hide them abroad … those who host them..”

Indicating that the Turkish government is preparing to strip some Gülen sympathizers of their citizenship, Erdoğan also said those who fled Turkey following the coup attempt might be brought back by “different” means.

“In particular those who were in [state jobs and fled]. We will call them back and give them a time certain [to surrender]. If they come, fine. Otherwise, we will do what is necessary. Sons of this nation will return and tell the truth to the relevant authorities about whatever they know [about the coup plotters]. If they don’t, they will pay the price. At the very least, we won’t say that ‘this is our citizen.’ We will do whatever is necessary wherever we find them,” he said.

Speaking to civil society representatives in Konya on Friday, Erdoğan also responded to Western criticism that he wants the return of the death penalty in Turkey, saying, “Yes, I am a defender of the death penalty.” He said those who plotted to overthrow government by means of a military coup on July 15 will be given the necessary punishment.



This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on October 15.